Using the Bible to justify the unbiblical

The crossroad of religion and politics came into a clear focus during a Sunday debate between Georgia Senate candidates. Democratic Party candidate and Christian mega-church minister Raphael Warnock drew fire for using the Bible to justify full-term abortion and defunding the US military. His opponent, Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler, took him to task for saying in a sermon in 2011 that you can’t serve God and the military, using as justification Christ’s words in Matthew 6:24, “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.” Warnock has also justified full-term abortion by twisting the scriptures.

In an August interview, Warnock responded to a series of questions about abortion by WGAU’s Tim Bryant. Warnock said, “I believe that healthcare is a human right. And I believe that it is something that the richest nation in the world provides for its citizens, and for me, reproductive justice is consistent with my commitment to that. I believe unequivocally in a woman’s right to choose, and that the decision is something that we don’t want government engaged in – that’s between her and her doctor and her minister.” He said that his campaign has been “focused on women’s health, women’s choice, reproductive justice. That is consistent with my view as a Christian minister. And I will fight for it.”

Bryant asked him, “Do you think it’s consistent with God’s view – that God endorses the millions of abortions we’ve had in this country since Roe v. Wade?” Warnock replied, “I think that human agency and freedom is consistent with my view as a minister.” This is quite frankly where many pastors abandon the Word of God for the word of man. Human agency is defined in psychological terms as the capacity for human beings to make choices and to impose those choices on the world. In other words, free will. Indeed, God has blessed us with free will. As Christians, however, that free will is informed by both personal responsibility and a code of conduct to live according to the precepts given to mankind by God. God does not advocate the killing of unborn children and no amount of inventive terms like “reproductive justice” will change that.

The choice of candidates for Georgia Senate places this entire nation, not just the citizens in Georgia, at a crossroads. The Republican candidate seems like a God-fearing woman. But the Warnock, even as an ordained minister, is an extreme and radical choice. His erroneous theological and political positions threaten the lives of the unborn as well as potentially using Christ’s words to undermine national security. Cherry-picking scripture to justify one’s own ideas is called eisegesis. It is a really bad way to interpret the Bible. Trouble is, this is done a lot by pastors and politicians. It’s particularly amplified when a politician who is also a pastor takes such license. Worse yet, people believe them.

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Bill Wilson